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Target CEO: Strong Online Sales Didn’t Help Overall Holiday Sales

Target Corp. announced Wednesday that sales at its stores that had been open at least one year fell more than 3 percent in November and December below sales from the same months in 2015. During the same period, the retailer’s digital sales grew 30 percent.

Even with the significant growth in e-commerce, overall comparable sales fell 1.3 percent, Target reports.

“While we were pleased with Black Friday sales, December digital sales growth of more than 40 percent and continued strength in our signature categories, these results were offset by early-season sales softness and disappointing traffic and sales trends in our stores,” chairman and CEO Brian Cornell says.

The decline in sales prompted the big-box retailer to update its fourth-quarter comparable sales projections to an overall decrease of 1 to 1.5 percent overall, down from the company’s original projection of up to 1 percent in comparable sales growth, the company reports.

The retailer saw customers shopping in stores and online for specific items instead of shopping across multiple categories, Cornell says.

The company had sales declines in electronics, entertainment and grocery, while Target’s signature categories, which include apparel and home products, grew 3 percentage points faster than average, he says. Cornell credits this growth to special discounts and promotions that met customers’ needs at specific times.

About Melanie Moul

Melanie is the communications and content manager for the North American Hardware and Paint Association. She joined the NHPA team in 2016 as an editor for Hardware Retailing and now helps lead the communications team to deliver relevant, timely content to the industry.

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